Yokine Evening Fellowship turns 50

Back in 1964, when the Yokine Uniting Church was young, they had a large Sunday School with the juniors and intermediates meeting in the hall and the kindergarten children  meeting in the kindergarten building across the road.

The minister at the time was Rev Syd Saggers and his wife, Jessie, noticed that most of the young women would dash across the  road straight after church to pick up their children from the kindergarten building without getting a chance to know one another. There was an afternoon fellowship but many of the women couldn’t attend at this time. Jessie decided to start an evening group so the young women could meet, worship and socialise together  whilst husbands were on babysitting duties. Continue Reading

WCC announces September Interfaith Summit on Climate Change

The World Council of Churches (WCC) announced it will hold an Interfaith Summit on Climate Change on September 21-22 in New York City. At the summit, organised together with Religions for Peace, more than 30 religious leaders will take a united stand to encourage international and political leaders to address concretely the causes and consequences of climate change.

The interfaith summit is being held immediately before the United Nations (UN) Climate Summit, called by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, to galvanize and catalyze climate action, bringing bold announcements and actions that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015.

WCC members said they hoped their united voice would be also heard at the upcoming Conferences of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima in December 2014 and in Paris in 2015. Continue Reading

Music scholars a blessing

The 2013 Wesley Scholars pictured here  with Angela Currie, (right).

The 2013 Wesley Scholars pictured here with Angela Currie, (right).

I am very fortunate to have inherited the Music Scholarship Scheme at Uniting Church in the City, Wesley Perth. It is a really lovely idea and I feel very blessed to work with these young musicians. This year we have five scholars who work on a roster of playing on Sundays, playing music for reflection at the start of the worship service and during the offering. In the past some have played with the choir. We have made a string quartet up and they have accompanied the choir and the singing scholars with excerpts from, for example,  Messiah.

The other lovely thing that shows, is that scholars from the past tend to have a lot of Wesley members coming  along to their recitals at university even after they have left Wesley. The  scholars aren’t necessarily Christians but they do tend to say, especially at the end of the year, ‘Wesley is special, it’s so nice performing here and it’s lovely performing in a place  where we aren’t judged.’ It seems to be a very positive experience for them and of course they get paid. Continue Reading

Chief governing body of the WCC begins its first meeting

The first full meeting of the new Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC), a chief governing body of the Council, began on 2 July in Geneva, Switzerland. Prayers, official addresses from the leadership of the WCC and welcome greetings from the Swiss churches marked the opening of the WCC Central Committee meeting – all set to focus on the theme ‘pilgrimage of justice and peace’ through the coming week.

The WCC Central Committee will hold meetings every two years until the next assembly. The committee which consists of 150 members from all global regions is responsible for carrying out the policies adopted by the WCC 10th Assembly, reviewing and supervising WCC programs and the budget of the Council. The 10th Assembly took place at Busan, Republic of Korea in October and November 2013.Continue Reading

Freo fiesta welcomes refugees

An energetic crowd took to the streets of Fremantle last weekend to show their support and welcome for asylum seekers and refugees in Australia.

The Refugee Fiesta, held on the Fremantle Esplanade on Sunday 15 June, was a family friendly affair with speakers, food, music and activities. Organised by the Refugee Rights Action Network (RRAN), the Uniting Church in WA joined other organisations such as Amnesty International,  Coalition for Refugees Asylum Seekers and Detainees (CARAD), Mercy Care, the Anglican Church Diocese of WA and Friends of Palestine as they showed their support.Continue Reading

Love nudges, but will not let us go

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The Uniting Church in WA welcomes its newest minister of the Word with the ordination of Corina van Oostende at Fremantle Wesley Uniting Church last Friday.

Rev Corina has had a long journey towards fulfilling her call to ordination and has always felt that she wanted to work with people. Coming to Australia in 1994 from the Netherlands, she became a member at Fremantle Wesley and took up roles in hospital chaplaincy; at Shenton Park Rehab Hospital and Fremantle Hospital in the Mental Health and Outpatients wards.

She has also worked with UnitingCare West’s Rainbow Project, a service that provides connection, friendship and support for people living with a mental illness.

Corina said that the people she’s met over the last ten years have confirmed her call to ministry.Continue Reading

Mandjar: A sense of hope and purpose

mandjar 1 022“I go to three-day conferences and end up exhausted. This one has been full on, yet I feel so energized.”

“Best conference I have been to in its feel and purpose.”

“A time for renewal and rest in God.”

As feedback on conferences go, Mandjar, the National Lay Preachers Conference, was tops.Max Howland, Chair of the National Lay Preachers Committee described it as “wide-ranging and well-balanced”.Continue Reading

Farewell and blessings

Rev Ian Pearse and Rev Marie Wilson breaking the ties.

Rev Ian Pearse and Rev Marie Wilson breaking the ties.

On Sunday 8 June the Uniting Church in Australia congregation in Mandurah held a special Breaking of the Ties service as they said farewell to Rev Ian Pearse. Ian has accepted a call to Bacchus Marsh in Victoria.

Ian and his wife Bev have been in placement in Mandurah for 5 years serving the community. Ian was a member of the Interagency Group who organise the annual Christmas Hamper distribution, Youthcare who support the Chaplains in schools, Peel Homelessness Night shelter group and Rotary. He supported the Mandurah Rainbow lunches providing a range of care for those who attended.Continue Reading

Health seminar unlocks perfect portions

Juniper, a Uniting Church in WA agency and one of Western Australia’s largest providers of retirement, residential and home aged care, brings a free information session for seniors, families and friends to help people maintain a healthy weight.

Ever wanted to know the difference between a portion and a serve and how it can enable you to lose weight? Or how to read those confusing numbers in food packaging?Continue Reading